An anti-vaxxer successfully convinced a COVID-19 patient to leave a hospital in Ireland, and he later died, according to a video posted to Facebook.
The video reportedly has since prompted an investigation, and anti-vaxxers reportedly showed up to the man’s funeral without masks.
The video was posted by Marko Mitrov; according to his Facebook profile, he lives in the Serbian city of Vrbas. In the video, a noted anti-vaxxer, Antonio Mureddu, who the Irish Times labeled “an Italian restaurant owner with a long history of conspiratorial and far-right activism,” encourages 67-year-old Joe McCarron to leave a Donegal hospital.
In the video, Mureddu tells McCarron, “It’s better that he die in the house than he dies here,” despite the protests of a staff member trying to encourage him to stay.
“If you stay here, they’re going to fucking kill you,” Mureddu advises.
The hospital representative counters with, “I think you should stay. I’m very worried about you. I want you to stay.”
Then, referring to Mureddu, the hospital worker says, “I think he’s saying something very dangerous. What he’s saying is wrong and very dangerous, and I think he’s endangering your life. It’s a very difficult disease what you have. I’m not lying to you. You could die, but this would be your best chance in the hospital, getting the oxygen and getting the support we’re giving you.”
Mureddu then notes that McCarron’s oxygen saturation is 98%, which he took as proof that the patient was making a sufficient recovery from the disease that has killed nearly 5 million people worldwide.
Mureddu later says: “‘It’s better if he dies in the house than die in here.” He adds, “He’s going to die with us,” not quite making clear who the “us” was.
According to Irish Central, McCarron died on Sept. 24, 10 days after the video was recorded. The Irish Times account of the story noted that a day after McCarron left the hospital, he returned and was placed on a ventilator, but was ultimately unable to recover.
That story also noted: “A family spokesman said after he returned to [the] hospital that McCarron’s wife Una wanted to apologize to hospital staff for what had happened and criticized those who helped remove him from the hospital as ‘reckless.’”
The Irish Times article added that a senior Garda (police officer) was assigned to investigate this incident and related ones. Mureddu does have some history with police, which, according to the article, the activist recorded. In the video in question, Mureddu, who was pulled over for speeding, is sitting in the front seat of his car yet denies he was the one driving, telling the officer, “I am the master and you are the servant.”
The funeral for McCarron was held on Sept. 26, and, according to Irish Central, a group of anti-vaxxers came to the church where services were held, reportedly uninvited and without masks. An eyewitness recognized them as members of a protest group that had been captured by both traditional media coverage and on social media.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Mitrov for comment.
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*First Published: Sep 30, 2021, 11:16 am CDT
Phil West is a veteran professional writer and editor, and the author of two books on soccer, ‘The United States of Soccer,’ and ‘I Believe That We Will Win,’ both from The Overlook Press. His work has appeared most recently in MLSSoccer.com, The Striker Texas, and Texas Highways. Based in Austin, he is also a lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.